This actually came as a response to a tweet from Mike Walsh (Twitter | Blog). But here is the barebones checklist I use the day of every user group meeting to make sure the most important things are covered.
- Access to the Location
- Access to the Internet - For when your speaker is coming in remotely via LiveMeeting, GoToMeeting, etc.
Nice to Haves:
- Food and drinks
- Sign-in sheet
- Name Tags (when we didn't know each other as well)
To make sure I have access to the building, because we meet after hours at a training company, I make sure I get there before the folks working there are done for the day. This means I may be an hour or more early, but it's better than showing up, seeing that no one stuck around, and being locked out. While this has never happened in the past, all it takes is one time to look foolish.
I also have a back-up presentation that I haven't done recently at the user group ready. We've never had a speaker cancel the day of the presentation. I canceled this month's meeting, but sent out a notice yesterday explaining why in a humorous fashion that fits our group. But you never know what could happen. So I have that presentation ready to go. In my case, it's usually a security one. But a good one, as Mike Walsh pondered, was a career development one. We can always use tips and tricks on career development. But the bottom-line is to have something.